Meredith Kooi is a visual and performance artist, curator, and art critic based in Atlanta, working at the intersection of philosophy, feminist science and technology studies, and embodiment using performance, radio, installation, photography, and video. She was a recipient of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs 2014 – 2015 Emerging Artist Award and is an Artist-in-Residence 2015 – 2017 with The Creatives Project. She also plays live sound sets as a solo artist and with Alice Kim as APHWK&K (Aww phooey with Kim & Kooi).
She is the Assistant Director and Editor for Radius, an experimental radio broadcast platform in Chicago, and the founder and Chief-Editor-Curator-Director of ALTERED MEANS, an amorphous curatorial project. Her writing has been featured in Art Papers, Bad at Sports, Temporary Art Review, and Wussy, among others.
She received her MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University, teaching courses in Performance Studies and Visual Studies.
My current work addresses two distinct themes: political conflict and the feminine, and my artistic practice engages highly immaterial mediums, including radio broadcast, to illuminate how our physical bodies navigate spaces and places and produce histories and philosophies within them. Using radio broadcast, movement, text, installation, video, and sound, the largely site-specific works spatialize space through the contours of electromagnetic waves. My projects are considerably theoretical and process-based, taking up complex concepts drawn from philosophy, quantum physics, feminist theory, and psychoanalysis. Even though the concepts can be extremely cerebral, my aim is to produce embodied experiences for the viewer, either through creating an environment of discovery or immersion.
Many of my sound works and sound performances take up current political conflicts including the Syrian refugee crisis and the Black Live Matter movement. Using audio culled from youtube videos, I incorporate the soundscape of conflict into my live performances. Instead of producing entertainment for my audience, I aim to sound out soundscapes that we try to ignore or forget.
I ask many questions about the feminine: What is the feminine? What kind of space does it produce? Out of this space, what becomes? I am drawn to using electromagnetic waves and electromagnetism in this process-based and research-based practice because these phenomena have an almost paradoxical constitution. The electromagnetic spectrum is generally invisible and easily overlooked, but makes the world possible, in terms of visible light and telecommunications. It has a complex being, which I argue provides rich metaphorical and material possibilities for addressing the feminine.